Today R2 and I were lucky enough to be invited out to Family Day at the Goodyear Airship Operations base in Carson, CA, where the Goodyear Blimp Spirit of Innovation resides. Ever since I was a small child I've always looked at the blimp with amazement and wonder.
Back in May I was fortunate enough to fulfill a lifelong dream, and I was able to have a ride on the blimp. I mentioned to my contact that I'd be happy to bring R2 out if there was interest, and Family Day was the perfect occasion.
We decided that R2 would be a surprise guest, so I parked such that no one could see me unload R2. Then I had him drive up to surprise everyone. The kids quickly gathered to check R2 out.
I was reunited with my pilot Taylor.
Even though R2 was a surprise visitor, a couple of the crew members happened to be sporting their Star Wars shirts.
Chief Pilot Matthew was kind enough to escort R2 and I out to the blimp itself, to get an up-close look.
Next, Matthew allowed me to get into the gondola, where he joined me and answered tons of questions and showed me compartments that aren't usually seen. The blimp remained tethered to its mast, but we still floated off the ground most of the time, which was really neat.
In the meantime, R2 waited patiently outside.
Once we were done, we returned to the picnic area, where employees were playing volleyball, with the blimp in the background.
A little while later, Family Day ended, and I put R2 back in the Droidmobile and headed home.
Everyone was so friendly, and I had a great time revisiting the blimp and meeting pilots and crew. Just a great time all around.